These days, when many of us work remotely, it’s so important to be able to connect with people through online meetings. Storyals productivity experts conducted a workshop on how to “Lead more engaging meetings using Teams” and here are some of the questions we got during the session. 

We walked through how to prepare the meeting setup by configuring the meeting options, how to create a professional meeting experience by using Spotlight, Together mode and various background, how to visualize your message using Video, PowerPoint, Whiteboard and Forms, and finally, how to master tools like Whiteboard, Polls and Breakout rooms to engage the audience.

Lead more engaging Teams meeting whiteboard | © Storyals

Everyone in the workshop was super engaged and had SO MANY questions. We didn’t have time to answer them all, so here are more answers.

Would you be interested in booking a workshop with one of our productivity coaches? Get in touch with us today!

Q: Can I create the breakout rooms in Teams before the meeting starts?

A: Unfortunately you can’t, you need to do it during the actual meeting. Please vote for the feature here: create a breakout room before meeting – Microsoft Teams UserVoice.

Q: As I understood, it is only the organizer that can set up and start breakout rooms. Isn’t it possible to delegate this to a presenter or kind of moderator? / I organize meeting for my boss from his calendar, but I need to be the one that does all the breakout rooms. Does that work?

A: Unfortunately, you are NOT able to delegate the breakout room management to someone else at this point which makes it a bit tricky to book meetings on someone else’s behalf 🤔. However, it’s on the roadmap and should be coming soon 😊. Keep an eye on the roadmap here.

Q: How do I turn off the meeting pop-up chats?

A: The pop-up chats are called “Banners” in Teams. To turn them off for all meetings, go to your profile picture and click:  Settings – Notifications. Under “Meetings” click “Edit” and then change the “Meeting chat notifications” drop-down to “Mute”.turn off Teams meeting pop-up chats | © Storyals

You can also shut off the banners from an individual meeting chat by clicking “More options” next to the meeting chat and then selecting “Mute.”

Q: Can you show the presenter and the presentation at the same time in the main window?

A: Currently you are a bit limited in the way you as a meeting attendee view the content. A new “Presenter mode” is soon coming to Microsoft Teams. With this new mode, you will have various options for seeing the presenter and the presentation at the same time. “Standout”, shows the video feed of the presenter in front of the presentation. “Reporter” shows the presentation above your shoulder just like in the news on TV. “Side-by-side” displays the presenter next to the presentation. You can learn more about it here.

Q: When I show my presentation using the Presenter View in Microsoft Teams, will I be able to use the pointer?

A: Currently this is not supported in the Presenter View. If you need to show the pointer you can put your presentation in Slideshow mode and then select to share that window only. That way, you can see the presenter view and access the laser pointer, but your audience only sees the slide with the laser pointer.

Q: Is Whiteboard always available? Or only for the presenter?

A: Microsoft Whiteboard is available by default (unless your administrator has disabled it). You need to be a presenter to share your screen and activate a Whiteboarding session. You can use Whiteboard in different ways.

  • You can use Whiteboard as a visual tool and show the audience a whiteboard that you have already created in advance. To do this, open the Whiteboard app on your computer and share the Whiteboard under the heading “Window”.
  • You can use a new blank Whiteboard linked to the meeting. To do this, open Whiteboard under the heading “Whiteboard”. A new whiteboard will be created linked to the meeting and available to everyone in the meeting chat as a tab. Please note that for people to be able to see and collaborate they currently need to be within your own organization.

To learn more about using Whiteboard effectively in meetings, read our blog post.

Q: When you have a team in Teams, is it possible to link one whiteboard into all the team meetings that this team has?

A: If you want to always use the same whiteboard, don’t use the Whiteboard under the “Whiteboard” heading. Instead, share the whiteboard under the “Window” heading, select your shared team whiteboard and then share the link (in the chat) so that everyone is working on the same whiteboard. To generate a sharing link to a whiteboard click “Invite someone” and then “More options” and then “Create sharing link”.

Q: What are other tools you can use to engage the audience?

A: In addition to the many great apps (Forms, Whiteboard, PowerPoint, etc.) in Microsoft 365. I often use Padlet as a tool for people from anywhere to collaborate online in a meeting by having a simple “wall” they can add notes to. Other recommendations of good tools to add more collaborative engagement include Kahoot, Mentimeter, Klaxoon and Miro. tools to engage audience | © Storyals

Q: Is the meeting recording save with the organizer? I thought it would be the one who started the recording?

A: You are correct, the video file of the recorded meeting is saved in the OneDrive folder of the person that started the recording. If the recorded meeting is in a shared channel the video will end up in that channel’s SharePoint folder. Read more about meeting recordings here.Teams meeting recording location | © Storyals

Q: Do you know if Microsoft will allow to share videos from Stream? (They are re-designing it but not sure if the roadmap includes this external sharing option)

A: Yes, Microsoft has shared that Stream will be able to support external sharing in the “new” Stream vision:

Stream leverages the power of SharePoint content services to store and manage video using integrated Microsoft 365 compliance, governance, permissions, external sharing, go local storage, bring your own keys, and government environments.

You can read more here about the “New Stream.” Not sure when it would be available though…

Do you have more questions?

Helping organizations build digital skills is what we do for a living. Please check out our other blog posts and make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss upcoming workshops, webinars and blog posts. Good luck in leading more engaging meetings in Microsoft Teams!